Tuesday, January 15, 2008

More MP3's

It's an ocean of dharma. A fellow sangha mate alerted me to these MP3's on the eight fold path by Smritiratna. Goto the download section of the Edinburgh Buddhist Center website.

Saturday, January 12, 2008


I've never been there, but a friend has, so it's interesting to read an article about it in the NY Times.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Apology and thanks.

I apologize to Danny Fisher for writing in a past post that he'd not given attention to the Dalit conditions. He's got 2 posts, one, two. I thank him for correcting me.

What I did was unskillful speech. Before I make such a statement I really need to make sure that it's true. My original comment, I hope, had metta in that I was disappointed by high expectations. My expectations were only confirmed by the revelation that he has covered it twice. He's got a great social consciousness. I admire his blog. And I hope to learn to tighten up my speech, and avoid such slander in the future.

I could be wrong about this, but my feeling of my order, is that you're not supposed to be a good Buddhist. You work to follow the dharma and that means that you can expose where you fall short of the ideals, because it's all about the growth and the process, and not about mere superficial appearances.
Someone said to me the other day, "no religion is perfect." I had to think...I mine? Of course not. Read about the struggles within the FWBO on it's discussion page. But the fact that such a page even exists!!! It's written by people within the order. Can you imagine such things existing in other religions. I want to be careful not to slander another religion? Perhaps I don't know. I haven't studied it. But my feeling, which is relevant and important, is that some institution were more concerned about appearances, and not what is underneath it. That was my experience of some other religious institutions. That is something that has pushed me away. Maybe no religion or sect or order is perfect, but some are more honest, transparent and alive. I'm not putting anyone down, I'm grateful to have found a place that makes me feel comfortable. I hope others can find their place, where ever it is.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Parenting Quote by a noted blogger

"Speaking as a father (and a Buddhist), let me tell you: there’s no worse suffering than watching a sick child choke in her sleep. It’s heart-wrenching to see their cute faces sleeping, then to wake up coughing and crying. Little kids can’t take care of themselves the way we adults can, and it’s easy to forget that until you take care of them" by The 8th Level Buddhist

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Dial the Dharma

I haven't tried it out, but it's the first phone Dharma message I've heard about. For more info click here.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

5 Favorite Dharma Books

Danny Fisher had a link about his 5 favorite books. He spurred or was spurred by Tom Armstrong, Loden Jinpa, C4Chaos, Ryan, & Brondu.

Here are the ones I would want to take if I was trapped on an island with only 5 Dharma books allowed:

A Survey of Buddhism by Sangharakshita
Meeting The Buddhas by Vessantara
Middle Length Discourse of the Buddha
Vimalakirti Nirdesa
Ten Thousand Songs of Milarepa

If I could go to 10, I would add:
The Long Discourses of the Buddha
Know Your Mind by Sangharakshita
The Life of the Buddha: According to the Pali Canon By Bhikkhu Nanamoli
Buddhism Without Beliefs by Stephen Batchelor

Favorite Links

Favorite Links in 2007

I've thought about my favorite web sites for Dharma, and give awards. I don't claim to be objective, I love the FWBO/TBMSG, and the people I know in the movement. Then there are some conventional favorites. Anyway, here they are.

Over All Winner:
I think the world is changed by Free Buddhist Audio. I could riff for hours about 20 of the talks there. Very profound and deep stuff, which I listen to while driving in my car. Falling asleep to a Dharma talk is not quite as good for retention. But it's not just awesome Dharma talks it's also the written seminars of Sangharakshita! It's truly an ocean of Dharma. I think Chandradasa does a good job on the site, and the people before him that made it possible, are to be noted for their efforts. A true gem of the Dharma world. You want to do something to support it aside from donating money (which is something worthy)? You can cut up the tracks, or transcribe one of the talks. You can volunteer for the site to, and be part of something great.

Best New Site: VideoSangha. Funny, reminiscent, and informative.

And: Discussion. Talking about the FWBO/TBMSG can be an endless discussion. Here's some interesting history. It also draws from this lovely web site, I believe.

Favorite News Site:
FWBO/TBMSG News. OK, so I'm a bit of sycophant for FWBO/TBMSG.

Runner Up: BNN, now known as the Buddhist Channel.

Favorite Non-FWBO Blogs: It's a 4 way tie!!

Danny Fisher. He's so good that it hurst when he doesn't talk about the Dalit situation in India, because he seems to cover everything else. Nobody can disappoint you if you don't have high expectations. I hope he can look at the videos on YouTube about the Dalits and comment. He's brought my attention to so many things, and is compassionate.

Another Winner: Trycle Editor's Blog. It's almost a news site, but it integrates the blogshere. It reads other blogs and is very knowing about the whole Buddhist world.

Another winner: Buddhist in Nebraska. I enjoy this one.

Another winner: I like this one quite a lot: The Level 8th Buddhist.

Favorite Buddhist Parenting Blog: Conscious Mom. Ok, so I adore Maia, know the father, and am acquainted with the mother. Still, I like this blog. And it's my awards, so they win.

Best Written Dharma Site: Access To Insight. Here you can get a sutra right away, not delayed gratification, and sometimes multiple translations. This almost wins the overall category because of it's greatness in sharing the Dharma. Read the advice to Bahiya, or the Karaniya Metta Sutta. It's all there in it's glory, and more! Read stuff by Ayya Khema or Edward Conze.

Best Photography blog by a Buddhist: street:haiku. I don't know this woman even though she lives in New York (you mean I don't know all 20 million people?). But I enjoy looking at her photos as a break from my work. I think she's an artist. I wish her well.

Best Encyclopedia site about the Dharma: Wikipedia. A blessing to humankind.

Best On Line Meditation Site: Wildmind is more than about meditation, but you can also get support meditating, if you're in a remote place, without meditation teachers. A true treasure to the world. There are book reviews, and there's a collection of articles about meditation in the news. Unfortunately it doesn't sell meditation supplies any more, but it has a listing of suggested sites to go for that now--Bodhi doesn't leave you high and dry. This is a well managed site. Buy a CD on meditation or download one. You won't regret it.

Best listing of links: Tie: Integral Options Cafe has an often daily Speed Linking entry on his blog (a find blog beyond that). Also Worst Horse has cool links, and some interesting content.

Favorite FWBO people sites:

Kamalashila. Talks and biography by a meditation master.

Vessantara. Amazing pujas by this wonderful writer of the great book Meething The Buddhas.

Best Sangha Website: Vajramati is the master. See the FWBO-NYC site. Smooth graphics, high technology, and even links to meditation timers.

My biggest blogging pet peeve: I don't understand why people post the daily dharma dew from Tricycle, and either don't attribute it, or don't comment on it, just past it in like it's new content, or both! Just click here and put this into your reader instead.

There's a lot of great Dharma on the web, and these were my favorite sites in 2007. I'm sure I've left out some great stuff--that's my limitation. I wish everyone well.

Powerful video about Dalits

Part 2

Part 3

And here's another disturbing one: